Saturday, March 11, 2006

imaginary weddings

My very best friend sinced junior high is getting married in May. I'm throwing the wedding shower, which I'm really excited about. A friend's sister is getting married, and she too is deep into wedding magazines. How does this happen? We both talk about our "imaginary weddings," conversation fueled by our loved ones planning actual weddings. We love that we have an excuse to buy wedding magazines.

I've been married once, done that, over it. Being married to the perfect person would be great. I'm convinced it would add greatly to my overall happiness, it would be lovely to have someone by my side, on my team, always and forever, yes. But I'm not at all thinking I need to get married just to BE married. If I'm single forever, so be it. Better alone than stuck with the wrong man. And personally, I'm far more interested in the marriage than the wedding.

The idea of planning my own wedding (never mind paying for it) gives me hives. But vicariously enjoying someone else's wedding: THAT, I'm into. I love looking at her wedding dress online, and picking out shower invitations and talking about centerpieces and signature colors. It's out of character for me, but I think it has something to do with being raised to be a hostess. It's the ultimate hostess test, isn't it? You have to bring all your skills to bear, and part of me thinks it might almost be fun to be a wedding planner. Except spoiled princesses get on my nerves, and you have to work weekends. It's sort of like decorating: I like it, I'm good at it, but you have to please OTHER people, not just your own taste. Nevah mind. And if there is one thing I've learned in the art bidness, it's this:

You Can't Buy Taste

Rich does not equal tasteful. Old money, new money, no money: some people got it and some people are just fucking tacky. It's almost worse when the rich are tacky because they have the means to do better, and the means to pay someone to do better for them. Except those of us in the lower rungs know you can have Nice Things and a tasteful home and tasteful wedding without being a zillionaire.

The wedding business, like the baby business and the funeral business, has consumers by the short hairs. Put the word "wedding" in front of anything - flowers, stationary, catering - and the price triples, at the very least. The funeral business preys on the grieving, and the baby business preys on - and feeds - the insecurities of women about whether they will be good mothers or not. Ever been to Babys'R'Us to buy a baby present and seen the registry list? It's like 8 pages long, full of stuff they have convinced a pregnant woman to register for, convinced her that she NEEDS all of these things to be a good mommy. The wedding industry is the same way: who needs all those favors? really? How many wedding favors does anyone remember, ever? I know it's In the Rules but damn, at my imaginary wedding: no favors.

See how that works? You're talking all hypothetically about consumer bullying and suddenly it's "at my imaginary wedding...". There must be some if-then coding in my brain that causes that.

No comments: